I love cooking with a Crock Pot in the winter. Walking into my house and smelling a delicious meal cooking away is the best remedy for the cold, grey weather of a New Englad winter. That and wine. It also happens to make dinner time with Baby E a whole lot easier since it’s all done and ready to go.
We were having friends over for dinner, and realized we hadn’t done a pork loin in a while. We also hadn’t had pulled pork in a while either. Done and done. Pork loin done pulled pork style, more specifically, Carolina Barbecue style. I was introduced to Carolina Barbecue during my first trip to the Outer Banks. I love how light the vinegar sauce is, not cloying and overpowering like many thick barbecue sauces can be, and it’s gluten and dairy free!
Our Carolina Barbecue Menu:
Crock Pot Carolina Pulled Pork
2 Onions, quartered
1 T Dark Agave Nectar
1 T Paprika
2 t Kosher Salt
1 t Ground Black Pepper
1 4-6 lb Pork Loin
1 T Liquid Smoke (optional)
1 C Cider Vinegar
1/3 C Worcestershire Sauce
2 t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 t Light Agave Nectar
1/2 t Dry Mustard
1 t Granulated Garlic
1 t Cayenne Pepper
Place onions in crock pot.
Blend dark agave nectar, paprika, salt and pepper; rub over pork loin.
Place pork loin in crock pot. Drizzle liquid smoke over pork loin.
Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, light agave nectar, mustard, garlic and cayenne pepper and stir to mix well.
Drizzle about ⅓ of mixture over pork loin. Cover and refrigerate remaining mixture.
Cook pork loin on low for 8-10 hours.
Remove meat and onions, discard onions and shred the meat. Add juices from crock pot to the remaining vinegar mixture. Use this for sauce to pass.
What would pulled pork be without cornbread and slaw?
I was recently introduced to a fabulous gluten and dairy free cookbook from the Babycakes Bakery in New York City. Their corn bread recipe is not only easy to make, but is to die for.
Babycakes Corn Bread:
2/3 c Rice Milk
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
3/ c Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 c Cornmeal
1/2 c Corn Flour
2 t Baking powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Xanthan Gum
1 t Salt
1/2 c Coconut Oil, plue more for the pan
1/3 c Agave Nectar
1/3 c Unsweetened Applesauce
2 t Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 7 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with coconut oil
Pour the rice milk and apple cider vinegar into a small bowl, but do not stir. Set aside to develop into “buttermilk.” In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir the batter until well combined. Pour in the “buttermilk.” Mix gently until the ingredients are fully incorporated and a slightly grainy batter is formed.
Pout the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the corn bread on the center rack for 32 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 20 minutes. The finished corn bread will bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Let the corn bread sit in the pan for 20 minites, then gently run a knife around the edge of the bread. Cover the top of the pan with a cutting board, and invert the loaf onto the board. Carefully lift the pan away and re-invert the corn bread onto another cutting board. Either cut and serve warm, or wait until completely cool before storing. Cover uncut corn bread and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
McKenna, Erin. “Corn Bread.” babycakes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2009. 53. Print.
Red Cabbage Slaw
1/4 Head Red Cabbage, Cored
4 Carrots, Peeled and Halved
1 Bunch Scallions, Greens Chopped
1/4 c Mayonnaise (any kind)
1/4 c Agave Nectar
Using a food processor, shred cabbage and carrots.
Mix in scallion greens
In a small bowl mix mayo and 1/4 c agave nectar.
Add to cabbage mixture
We served sorbet for dessert. I’d love to say we made it, but alas it was by Haagen-Dazs.